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Cultural Transfer between Latin and Hebrew in the Middle Ages

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Chapter Summary

The interaction of Hebrew and Latin in the history of science and philosophy in the Middle Ages has taken three principal forms: Jews have been interpreters of Arabic texts and learning; Hebrew texts and Jewish authors have been the sources of Latin texts, and Latin texts have been the sources of Hebrew texts. The role of Jewish scholars as interpreters of scientific and philosophical knowledge for other language cultures was highlighted in the second half of the title of Moritz Steinschneider's monumental work, Die Hebräischen Übersetzungen und die Juden als Dolmetscher, and has been summarized in respect to Latin in an article by Mauro Zonta. The fruitful contact between Jewish and Christian scholars throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance played an important part in the transmission and development of science and philosophy, in ways which effected both Christian and Jewish society.

Keywords: Christian scholars; Hebrew; Jews; Latin; Middle Ages; Moritz Steinschneider



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